Publications des agents du Cirad


Abundance, biomass and community composition of soil saprophagous macrofauna in conventional and organic sugarcane fields

Coulis M.. 2021. Applied Soil Ecology, 164 : 7 p..

DOI: 10.18167/DVN1/FQE6NL

DOI: 10.1016/j.apsoil.2021.103923

Tropical island saprophagous invertebrates have received little attention despite their important role in sustaining soil fertility. Soil biodiversity in the agroecosystems of the Lesser Antilles is subject to various anthropic and environmental perturbations; therefore, it is crucial to promote agricultural practices that help preserve it. Here, we investigate the effect of conversion to organic farming in sugarcane production on soil saprophagous invertebrates in a Martinique plantation (Lesser Antilles). The abundance, biomass and diversity of communities were measured in three fields undergoing organic conversion and in two control fields under conventional production. Invertebrates were sampled both by pitfall trapping and Tullgren extraction. The results indicated that abundance was significantly higher in fields undergoing conversion (342 ± 78 ind.m-2) compared to fields under conventional farming (146 ± 34 ind.m-2). The response of the whole community's biomass to organic conversion was not significant, reflecting a contrasting response of each invertebrate taxa: isopod biomass was the most impacted, earthworm biomass was moderately impacted and diplopod biomass was not significantly affected. A total of 25 morphospecies for all taxa were distinguished in this study. However, the diversity did not differ and community composition remained similar under both farming practices. The response of invertebrate abundance and biomass could be either due to the direct toxicity of herbicides intensively used in conventional sugarcane cultivation or to the indirect effects of herbicides modifying micro-habitat parameters (weed biomass, amount of mulch and litter humidity). In conclusion, the study shows that organic farming has a beneficial effect on soil saprophagous invertebrates even after a short period of conversion (between one and two years), which is promising for restoring soil biological processes in the context of agroecological transition.

Mots-clés : biodiversité; faune du sol; conservation des sols; saccharum; agriculture biologique; biomasse; pratique agricole; martinique; france; transition agroécologique; biodiversité du sol

Documents associés

Article (a-revue à facteur d'impact)

Agents Cirad, auteurs de cette publication :